Tim Murphy

Tim Murphy

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Tim Murphy is a senior reporter at Mother Jones. Email him with tips and insights at tmurphy@motherjones.com.

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Photo by Tim MurphyPhoto by Tim MurphyShona Darress has it on good information that George Soros, liberal financier, scourge of the right, quarterback of the no-huddle offensive against all that makes America great and holy—the Sultan of Slant, the Maharishi of Misinformation, the Big Bopper of Bias—is secretly controlling the flow of information at Fox News. This might come as a surprise to some of you, given Fox News' fairly unambiguous vendetta against Soros and the progressive causes he helps support. But it is apparently the reality we must deal with, and Darress has the charts to prove it.

When I approach her booth (sponsored by the group "America's Survival") deep in the bowels of the Conservative Political Action Conference, and ask how she possibly came to the conclusion hinted at by her display, she quickly points to a smiling face on a poster a few feet behind her. "This, here: Sally Kohn. She's Soros-funded." Darress points to the next face, right below. "Jehmu Greene. She's Soros-funded." Although Sally Kohn is, according to Darress' literature, "the new face of Fox News," I've never heard of her; Green's role at Fox is as the token liberal on Sean Hannity's nightly program, a position that seems to exist solely to give Hannity and his panelists someone to yell at. "They're publicly owned," she says when I ask how Soros came to control the country's leading outlet for conservative news. "It's not that they went to Fox News and said we want to buy your stock—they just did it." The pamphlet she hands me spells it out more clearly: "Most likely Fox knuckled under to blackmail. Soros went after Murdoch's Empire with the hacking investigation against News of the World using the left-wing Guardian newspaper."

All of which explains why she'a hawking the bumper stickers that drew me in to begin with—red ones with "Bring Back Beck" in big white letters. "Glenn got shoved out because of Soros. He was outing everybody, wasn't he? He wasn't shutting up about George Soros! Soros didn't really like that." As for Beck, "He'll stay undercover a little bit longer. But the news is out."

Spread the word.

Update: Sally Kohn tweets: "I am NOT nor ever have been funded by Soros, despite Right wing assertions to contrary."

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The Best Swag at CPAC

Forget everything you've heard about shrinking government, icing the welfare state, and giving poor children the maintenance tools to pull themselves by their bootstraps—at the Conservative Political Action Conference, everyone's just looking for a handout.

That, at least, was my conclusion after talking to the good folks at Procinctu, a firm that "works to arm you with the knowledge and tools necessary to attain self-sustainment, empowerment, and security." That entails a number of things—warning you against the evils of Monsanto, promoting the purchase of gold and silver, encouraging exercise. And purchasing, for $10, this t-shirt:

If that's tough to read, let me spell it out for you: It's a t-shirt celebrating corpse desecration (a response to this). No one's buying, though; mostly people just come by, snap a photo, and keep on walking when they find out it's not free.

Maybe that's because everything else at CPAC is free. Here's a very incomplete sampling:

The plot of this book—free, if you promise to tell three friends about it—is that Einstein was wrong, time-travel is possible, and our 16th president has done exactly that in an attempt to steer America back on course.

Redecorating your office? Looking for something for that special someone this Valentine's day? Enter to win a free portrait of your favorite GOP presidential candidate:

Of course, if you load up on hand-drawn portraits of GOP presidential candidates, you'll probably need a car to help you bring them home with you. And if you're going to have a car, you'll want a bumper sticker to go with it:

And if you're going to get rear-ended by the driver who took your bumper sticker the wrong way, you'll want same sustenance while you recover. Like a cake replicating the board for the "Tea Party board game." Its creator told me it was like a combination of Trivial Pursuit and Monopoly. They offered me a slice. I told them I always have someone taste my food first. No one laughed.

In addition to handing out Chuck Norris t-shirts, our friends at birther hub WorldNetDaily are shilling for a presidential candidate of their own. But do they know he was born in the Philippines?

This is....interesting:

Pasha Roberts, the creator of the animated film Silver Circle, explained it to me this way: "Basically the plot of the movie is there is a severe economic collapse in 2018. There's a group of rebels who are fighting the Federal Reserve, and the way they fight is by making alternative currency out silver." Think Children of Men meets the Ron Paul Revolution. When I tell him I work for Mother Jones, he adds one more detail: one of the heroines of the flick is a "pot-smoking lesbian":

This isn't free, but I had to share it anyway. It's just a few feet away from a display of Ron Paul books. As I thumbed through this defense of colonialism, a Mitt Romney supporter next to me picked up a copy of End the Fed and held court with his friends: "This is what his freakish followers read. When they protest Romney events, they have a megaphone and they just read the book. It's disgusting!"

Runaway Slave: Run From Tyranny to Liberty, celebrates the exploits of African-Americans who have...embraced the Republican party. As the tag line puts it, the film "lays bare the truth about blacks and the progressive agenda. Get on board the new underground railroad!"

CPAC: Attack of the Anti-Multiculturalists!

The hottest piece of swag at the Conservative Political Action Conference in DC is the beer koozie. You can pick up upwards of a dozen varieties wandering through the massive exhibit hall in the basement of the Marriott Wardman Park. You can even get a koozie from the anti-multiculturalist student group, Youth For Western Civilization. But it wasn't the knick-knacks that drew me over to the group's table in the basement exhibit hall, though—it was their logo, a black-and-white image of a flexed arm grasping some medieval piece of weaponry.

It looks like a battle axe, but I'm quickly corrected—it's actually a war hammer. "It's supposed to represent Charles Martel," a volunteer tells me. That's a reference to the eighth-century French leader and father of Charlemagne who turned back the Muslim invaders at the Battle of Tours. Martel is something of a hero to the group because they believe the same thing is happening today—American civilization (Western Civilization) is slowly being watered down into something unrecognizable. We don't just need less illegal immigration; we need a lot less immigration, period.

"Mitt Romney is a soulless automaton with no principles—which is why he's good," says Kevin DeAnna, the American University graduate who founded the organization, suggesting that the GOP front-runner's malleable core values might make him easily persuadable. "He's not a closet leftist like George W. Bush." No group benefits more from immigration than the 1-percent, another volunteer chips in, and Kevin quickly agrees. "When Occupiers come up to us—and I'm sure you can imagine they do—this is what we say to them," he says. The 99-percent should be vehemently opposed to illegal immigration—as proof, he cites the early 20th-century labor organizer Samuel Gompers, who called for limits to immigration out of concern for the domestic workforce. Of course, Youth for Western Civilization's alliance with the Occupy Wall Street crowd is probably short-lived; the same group has also posted articles on its website denouncing Nelson Mandela as a "bloodthirsty terrorist" who should have been hanged in the 1980s. (DeAnna tells me he wishes the Occupiers weren't so caught up in political correctness.)

After wandering through the exhibit hall, I dashed upstairs, where an overflow crowd was gathered for a breakout session called "The Failure of Multi-Culturalism: How the Pursuit of Diversity is Weakening American Diversity." As one speaker put it, "Europeans and their trans-Atlantic cousins are literally an endangered species." Another speaker, Rosalie Porter, chairwoman of the anti-bilingualism group ProEnglish, lamented that the Civil Rights Act had ushered in an era of multiculturalism, in which Americans were distinguished by made-up terms like "Hispanic."

Which isn't to say that the entire conference is dominated by White Nationalists. But in a year in which the CPAC's organizers blocked the LGBT group GOProud from co-sponsoring the event, their inclusion is a jarring reminder of the deep-seated biases preventing the conservative movement from actually becoming the Big Tent Republicans say they want.

As a service to our readers, every day we are delivering a classic moment from the political life of Newt Gingrich—until he either clinches the nomination or bows out.

In early February, Newt Gingrich launched a new website attacking GOP front-runner Mitt Romney for his less-than-distinguished record as a hunter. The site, romneyguns.com, mocks the former Massachusetts governor for once claiming to have hunted "small varmints," and depicts Romney in an Elmer Fudd-style cap holding a rifle, standing inside a silver cup. It's funny because Romney has been hilariously uncomfortable when he's asked about hunting. It's also funny because the man attacking him is Newt Gingrich.

Gingrich, as my colleague Andy Kroll reported in January, has never owned a gun in his life. His comment that "males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes" notwithstanding, he does not hunt. Instead, Gingrich's passion for wildlife is on the complete other side of the spectrum—he once told a reporter that he'd like to spend 6 to 12 months in the Amazon staring at tree sloths. When it comes to big-game-hunting bona fides, the former speaker gives Romney a run for his money. Newt's affinity for firing a gun in anger at an animal was captured in this scene from a 1995 Vanity Fair profile:

Carter tells a down-home kind of story from the 1970s. Newt and Carter, who was then his campaign treasurer, used to barbecue hogs in the Gingriches' driveway in Carrollton, Georgia. They would go to a friend's farm and pick out a hog --and shoot it.

"One day, Newt says to me, 'I need to be the one to kill the hog. It's only right, just morally.'"

Carter showed Newt how to use a Walther P-38, a W.W. II German pistol. "I said, 'Put some corn in your left hand. When the pig comes over to get it, put the pistol against his head and shoot him between his eyes.'"

"So the pig comes over and he starts eating," says Carter. "Newt flinches as the round hits the pig on the side of the head and ricochets down." But the shot only stunned the hog and sent it fleeing back into the pen. "Newt keeps trying to get this pig to come back to him. Newt's getting madder and madder. I said to him, 'You just shot the son of a bitch in the head, Newt, why do you think he's gonna come to you?'"

Carter recalls urging his comrade-in-arms, "'You gotta get in there, in the hogpen, and go get him.' But Newt wouldn't do it. So I ended up going in the pen and killing the hog."

Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC)

North Carolina GOP Rep. Sue Myrick told supporters on Tuesday that she will not be seeking re-election next November, making her the third elected representative from the state to announce her retirement in just the last few weeks. On the surface, it's not an especially big deal, largely because Myrick is hardly a power-broker in Congress and her district is solidly conservative.

But Myrick's departure will deprive Congress of one of its loudest voices in the fight against the largely nonexistent threat of "stealth jihad"—a congresswoman who once held a press conference to declare that the Capitol had been infiltrated by a secret cabal of radical Islamist interns bent on destroying America from within. (As anyone who's spent much time in this city knows, the real power in Washington is held by Hill interns; the lobbyists are just there to make sure we don't run out of cigars.)

Such behavior would become a pattern. When Myrick sat down with Muslim constituents in Charlotte in 2010 to explain herself, the Associated Press noted that Myrick had "proposed fighting Islamic radicalization by cutting off exchange programs and weapons sales with Saudi Arabia, passing legislation that would make it a treasonous offense to call for the death of American citizens and investigating the selection of Arabic translators." Admittedly, it was an incomplete list. Last August, she held hearings on the Muslim Brotherhood's supposed attempt to take over America through self-jihad (it didn't go so well). Myrick has also addressed—and been honored by—the anti-Islam activist group ACT! for America. ACT!'s founder, Brigitte Gabriel, believes Muslims should be prohibited from serving in the military and blocked from holding public office.

Last fall, Myrick canceled her planned appearance at a September 11th memorial out of concerns that she had become a target for terrorists, citing an article published by Iranian state media that mentioned her name. Myrick declined to elaborate on the specifics of the threat, except to say that "I live with threats every day; that's my life." The Iranian report was actually just a translation of a report on Islamophobia published by the liberal Center for American Progress. And although Myrick alleged that she had been told be intelligence sources that the article put her life at risk, Salon's Justin Elliott noted that none of the other Republican members of Congress implicated in the report canceled their public events on 9/11.

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